Jonathon Milian

Jonathon Milian

Jonathon Milian

Admissions Coach

Jonathon Milian is dedicated to helping young people attend the college of their dreams. “I want to be in their corner, motivating and empowering them, and helping them see their true worth,” he says.

“I’m passionate about college admissions because, as a first-generation, low-income student, I didn’t know about all the opportunities that existed,” Milian says. He worked hard throughout high school, dreaming of attending the University of Florida, and was crushed when his parents told him he could only apply to local institutions for financial reasons. Now, he is determined to be the type of mentor that he wished he had had growing up.

In addition to his work with Bovard Scholars, Milian served as the College Assistance Program (CAP) Advisor at José Marti MAST 6-12 Academy in Hialeah, Fla.—a school he once attended. While he was originally hired to teach English and students with disabilities, at the end of his second year of teaching, he volunteered as a college counselor, he recalls. He quickly demonstrated the difference it made in students’ lives, transitioning to a full-time job as a CAP Advisor and establishing and instilling a true college-going culture.

Milian helped José Marti MAST 6-12 Academy move from having just two students attending out-of-state colleges to graduating students who went on to attend some of the most highly-selective institutions including MIT, Stanford, Duke, Harvard, Yale and UChicago. The amount of institutional merit aid received by graduating classes also has skyrocketed. After 11 years as the CAP Advisor, Milian is now transitioning to a new chapter in his career as he became a College Advisor for American Heritage Schools, Broward Campus.

He also works for The Miami Foundation, a philanthropically supported program in Miami that provides needs-based college scholarships, where he remains actively involved in the organization. He revised the CAP Grant application to make it more user friendly and created an unmet need calculator worksheet, enabling students to figure out their true financial gap after exhausting all means of financial aid.

“One of my core values is being a positive role model,” he says. “Along with being a Hispanic with family ties to the Caribbean, I stick out as a male in the female-dominated college counseling field.”

Having earned his master’s in a different field, Milian also stands out as someone who has learned the profession by doing. But, in addition to over a decade of college-advising experience, he offers firsthand understanding of the challenges faced by the young people he coaches.

At Bovard Scholars, Milian enjoys the ability to work with students from across the country to support and nurture their dreams. “Not having had the opportunity myself, it’s also like I’m going away to college each summer,” he says of his annual return to the USC campus.

To future scholars:

“You are here because you decided to emphasize and prioritize your education above all else. And it is those same sacrifices that are going to make you successful long after the Bovard program has ended.”